Chapter 23

Then Jesus said to the crowds and his disciples, 2"The scholars and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. 3So then, do and keep whatever they teach y’all, but don’t do what they do. Because they don’t do what they teach. 4They lay heavy loads on other men’s shoulders, but they won’t lift a finger themselves. 5They do everything so that men can see. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels on their clothes. 6They love to sit at the head of the table and in the front row of the synagogue. 7They love the greetings in the market place, and they love it when men call them, ‘Rabbi.’ 8But y’all better not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because One is your Teacher, and y’all are brothers. 9Don’t call anyone on earth your father, because One is your Father, the One in Heaven. 10And don’t be called teacher, because your Teacher is the Christ. 11Your servant will be greater than you. 12Whoever elevates himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be elevated.

13“Damn you scholars and Pharisees! Hypocrites! Because y’all shut men out of Heaven’s Empire! Y’all won’t go in yourselves, and you won’t let anyone else in, either!

14“Damn you scholars and Pharisees! Hypocrites! Because y’all eat up widows’ houses, and make long prayers as a show. Because of this, you’ll be damned even more!

15“Damn you scholars and Pharisees! Hypocrites! Because you’ll travel over sea and land to convert one person. And when you do convert him, y’all make him twice as much the son of Hell as you are!

16“Damn you blind guides! You who say, ‘Whoever swears by the Temple isn’t obligated. But whoever swears by the gold of the Temple is.’ 17You blind fools! What’s more important, the gold or the temple that made the gold holy? 18And you say, ‘Whoever swears by the altar isn’t bound. But whoever swears by the offering on the altar is bound.’ 19You blind men! What’s more important, the offering or the altar that made the offering holy? 20So, whoever swears an oath by the altar swears by it and everything on it. 21Whoever swears an oath by the Temple swears by it and everything in it. 22And whoever swears an oath by Heaven swears by God’s Throne and the One sitting on it!

23“Damn you scholars and Pharisees! Hypocrites! Because you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and forget about the more important burdens of the Law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Y’all must do these as well as the other things! 24You blind guides! You strain out the gnat, but swallow a camel!

25“Damn you scholars and Pharisees! Hypocrites! Because you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they’re full of greed and self-indulgence! 26You blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of the cup first so that the outside of the cup can become clean as well.

27“Damn you scholars and Pharisees! Hypocrites! Because you look like whitewashed tombs which certainly shine on the outside, but inside they’re full of the bones of the dead and all uncleanness! 28Y’all also look righteous on the outside to men, but inside you’re full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29“Damn you scholars and Pharisees! Hypocrites! Because you build the Prophets’ tombs and you decorate the graves of the righteous, 30and you say, ‘If we were around during our father’s days, we wouldn’t have taken part in shedding the Prophets’ blood.’ 31So, you testify against yourselves that you are the sons of those who killed the Prophets. 32So then, fill up the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33Snakes! You bunch of snakes! How are y’all going to flee from the judgement of Hell? 34Therefore I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scholars. You’ll kill and crucify some of them. You’ll beat some of them in your synagogues, and you’ll chase them from city to city. 35So that all the righteous blood that has ever been poured on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah, son of Barachiah, who was murdered between the temple and the altar, will be on your hands. 36Yes, I tell y’all, all this will come upon this generation!

37“Jerusalem! Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who were sent to her. How often have I wanted to bring your children together, like a hen brings her young together by her wings. But you didn’t want it! 38Look, your house is left to you desolate! 39I tell you, y’all won’t see me again until you say, ‘The one who comes in the Lord’s name is blessed!’

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